Condé Nast Traveller
Tell us about this place: What's the story here?
Alpine game-changer that put Megève back on the map and set the style for a whole generation of rustic-deluxe European hotel. Set back on a country road, Les Fermes de Marie might be taken for a sprawling private ski chalet. In fact, it’s a collection of pretty wooden buildings with sloping, snow-covered roofs, scented with firewood as you step inside. In summertime, the surrounding slopes are dotted with wildflowers.
So how did it come to be?
When young local couple Jocelyne and Jean-Louis Sibuet created this smart chalet hotel in 1989, it reestablished Megève as a glamorous resort. Now it’s got a reputation as a discreet family destination with top-notch personal service for high-profile guests. It is built from recycled farm timbers and designed entirely by Jocelyne, with her trademark understated elegance, a mix of muted grays and natural materials, baroque antiques, and gilded antlers.
What are the rooms like?
Rustic-chic bedrooms are deeply restful—clean pure lines, natural pine walls—with up-to-date tech such as Bluetooth speakers. In the two-bedroom Mont Blanc suite—formerly the Sibuets’ private apartment—everything is brilliantly thought out, from the big south-facing balcony with Alpine views to the long living room under the eaves, where a fire crackles away.
How is dining on site?
Two restaurants are headed up by newly arrived chef Nicolas Sintes (formerly with Daniel Boulud in New York and at the Sibuets’ La Bastide de St. Tropez). The barn-style Les Fermes des Marie serves refined but hearty Savoyard cuisine with explosive flavor: organic eggs with chestnuts, Beaufort cheese ravioli with local ham and wild cepes, black truffle pasta. Up on a slope at 1,800m, L’Alpage is the hotel’s second convivial Alpine restaurant, with red-and-white-checked tablecloths on the terrace, sweeping views of the peaks, and a cheese fondue and blackcurrant pie worth schlepping up a mountain.
How's the service ?
The concierge can arrange anything: private cooking classes with the chef, sledding and snowshoe trekking, hang-gliding and helicopter rides.
Who are we likely to see here ?
A French showbiz crowd, European actors, writers and musicians, chic forty-somethings with young children, wearing designer moon boots and tasteful skiwear.
How does the hotel fit into the surrounding area ?
It’s a 10-minute walk into pretty Megève, where top spots include long-established Le Georges, or the cosy bar at Le Lodge Park (another Sibuet property); while the livelier Un Jour à Peyrassol has truffle pizza, wines from the Var, and live DJs after 10 p.m.
Anything else we should check out while staying here?
Wellness is a focus. The extensive Pure Altitude spa has an indoor pool with bay windows that give out onto the landscape, a hammam, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, a high-tech fitness center, and a Leonor Greyl hair salon.
Do you have any criticisms ?
All the animal skins may offend—but hey, we’re in the Alps, where faux fur looks downright tacky.
So why would you recommend Les Ferms de Marie ?
Les Fermes de Marie rises above other Megève hotels—not only for the deep comfort factor but also for its ultra-professional service, terrific spa, and superb local cuisine. Part-time skiers love it—they can’t wait to get back to the spa or find a fire to curl up by and read Leïla Slimani.